WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

SUN­DAY

CHO­CO­LAT 8.45PM, GEM Sump­tu­ous, sen­su­ous fairy­tale set in a sleepy French vil­lage in the late 1950s. Juliette Binoche opens a choco­late shop, the pro­duce of which packs an un­mis­tak­ably aphro­disiac wal­lop. A good­na­tured con­fec­tion (with a few swirls of drama blended in for good mea­sure). Co-stars Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Lena Olin.

★★

MON­DAY

NO COUN­TRY FOR OLD MEN 9.30PM, ONE The Coen broth­ers ( Fargo) re­turned to bril­liant form with this haunt­ing, hard-bit­ten and in­con­gru­ously af­fect­ing chase flick based on the Cor­mac McCarthy novel. Josh Brolin stars as a Texas hunter who hap­pens across $2 mil­lion in a brief­case, and a fright­en­ing Javier Bar­dem plays a mer­ci­less killer out to re­trieve the cash. Though sev­eral scenes are ex­tremely vi­o­lent and un­apolo­get­i­cally amoral, there is a chill­ing com­po­sure that will not be de­nied. Highly rec­om­mended.

★★★★

TUES­DAY

ROBOCOP 2 9.30PM, GO Stick with me here only if you’re into cy­borgs and se­quels. Ba­si­cally, a fresh crime wave in Detroit means the cre­ators of the orig­i­nal crime-fighter RoboCop go back to build a new-and-im­proved ver­sion (imag­i­na­tively dubbed RoboCop 2) to sort it out. Un­for­tu­nately it mal­func­tions and goes rogue, forc­ing orig­i­nal RoboCop (Peter Weller) to take on not only the crime wave, but also his de­mented “brother”.

★★

WED­NES­DAY

THE MA­TRIX: RELOADED 8.30PM, GO It seems like eons ago that TheMa­trix burst from nowhere to be­come one of the most stylis­ti­cally and

★★★★

the­mat­i­cally in­flu­en­tial works in movie his­tory. It wasn’t just film fans who fell un­der the spell of this trippy, ag­gres­sively ad­ven­tur­ous dose of hi-fi sci-fi. Ev­ery­one from fash­ion de­sign­ers to gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance agen­cies – and of course other film­mak­ers – were ap­ing its ev­ery move. Heck, peo­ple were even say­ing Keanu Reeves could act. TheMa­trix: Reloaded was time to put up or shut up time for the brains be­hind the fran­chise, the writ­ing/di­rect­ing Wa­chowski broth­ers. They re­spond to the chal­lenge in typ­i­cally cav­a­lier fash­ion. Th­ese guys are in a league of their own, and so too is Reloaded. Def­i­nitely war­rants re­peat view­ing.

THURS­DAY

THE MEX­I­CAN 9PM, ONE The­Mex­i­can could have just put Brad Pitt and Ju­lia Roberts to­gether and let the su­per­star sparks fly. But direc­tor Gore Verbin­ski doesn’t take the easy way home. He keeps the pair apart for much of this

★★★★

sur­pris­ingly edgy left-of­cen­tre road movie and much more of a punch is packed as a re­sult. Though Pitt and Roberts – su­perbly cast as off-again, on-again lovers Jerry Wel­bach and Sa­man­tha Barzel – have their mo­ments to­gether at ei­ther end of a rather ropey ca­per tale, it is not their stel­lar pair­ing that will stay in your mind. What burns its own unique niche in the mem­ory is Roberts’ un­likely chem­istry with James Gan­dolfini (of TV’s TheSo­pra­nos), who vir­tu­ally steals The­Mex­i­can from un­der the noses of the movie’s big names while play­ing a sen­si­tive hit man named Leroy.

FRI­DAY

THE AMER­I­CAN NOON, SEVEN An unashamedly dour, yet wholly sat­is­fy­ing thriller. Ge­orge Clooney plays Jack, a black-ops as­sas­sin who wants out of the pay-to-slay busi­ness. To en­sure his exit, all he has to do is cool his heels in a sleepy Ital­ian vil­lage, and

★★★

man­u­fac­ture a weapon for a fel­low agent. Much of The Amer­i­can plays out in a state of weary­ing, wor­ry­ing si­lence. Jack is a man alone with his thoughts. And his thoughts are no­body’s idea of great com­pany. Look hard at Clooney’s un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally re­mote (and highly ef­fec­tive) per­for­mance, and you are sure to be in­trigued, alarmed and sur­prised by what is on Jack’s mind.

SATUR­DAY

CLICK 8.30PM, 7MATE Look out, ev­ery­one! Adam San­dler has a magic re­mote­con­trol to ma­nip­u­late life as if it were pre-recorded TV! A catchy lit­tle idea for a com­edy catches a bad attack of the sads at the half­way mark, where the film­mak­ers mis­tak­enly think it’s time for some drama and a few lessons about the hu­man con­di­tion. We like our San­dler films sim­ple and stupid, thanks very much. Co-stars Kate Beck­in­sale, Christo­pher Walken.

★★

Danger­ous busi­ness: Ge­orge Clooney plays an as­sas­sin ready to leave the killing game in TheAmer­i­can.

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